Introduction to Health and Safety
In health and social care workplace health and safety are the important facets that significantly affect care takers, health professionals, organizations and community at large (Barrington, 2015).The present report explores how health and safety legislation is implemented in health and social care organizations. The organization selected for the study is Cromwell Hospital which is located in London , UK. The report also talks about the ways in which health and safety requirements affect service users and the work of health care professionals in the chosen care organization. It also also features the monitoring and reviewing of health and safety policies and practices in the care organization.
How systems, policies and procedures can be developed for communicating information on health and safety
Implementation of health and safety policies and practices are very crucial for Cromwell Hospital. In order to ensure effective communication of health and safety systems and policies of the organization these can be reviewed in the following manner:
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Effective communication plays vital role for ensuring proper execution of health and safety practices in Cromwell Hospital. All the health and social care professions of the organization can be made aware of important health and safety procedures and acts through various communication processes (Borkowski, 2015). Cromwell Hospital can make use of different media ad training modules to clearly articulate all the concepts of risks and safety to care professionals. These risks involve in care setting are broadly categorized into various kinds such as minimum risks, zero risk, individual risk, protection from potential harm, risks from equipment and substances and accidents. Therefore effective communication processes help management of Cromwell Hospital in carrying out their operations.
Health and safety policies and acts laid down by UK government encourage care organizations to ensure safety of health staff and service users Some of the important health and safety legislation formulated by UK government are as follows:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 : This act is one of the primary act that deals with occupational health and safety in UK (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, 2016.). The health and safety executive work with local authorities to ensure the enforcement of this act. Cromwell Hospital need to comply this act in order to protect staff from occupational health and safety risks.;
- Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981: This act applies to all workplaces in UK. The act provide guidance to organizations about managing provisions of first aid at their workplaces (The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981, 2016.). Cromwell Hospital also need to abide by this act in order to make the employees aware of first aid arrangements in their workplace. In addition to this, the hospital need to take care of training of care staff for first aid help as per the guidelines of the act.
Proper implementation of these health and safety acts are very crucial for Cromwell Hospital in order to protect its employees from potential harm and risks in their workplaces. The hospital can develop strategies to implement codes and practices of health and safety in its care setting (Dahlgren and Whitehead, 2015). For example: Cromwell Hospital can develop the provision of making its premises safe and secured by installing door locks, closed circuit cameras and alarms. In addition to this it can develop its first aid arrangements as per the guidelines of the Health and Safety Regulations 1981. Apart from this, it can review its organizational health and safety practices to make necessary improvements from time to time.
Assessment of responsibilities of management of health and safety at each level within organization
There are various internal and external entities that play important roles in implementation of health and safety legislation in workplaces in health and social care. In order to assess responsibilities of these entities at different levels within Cromwell Hospital following points can be discussed:
Top Management of Cromwell Hospital is responsible for developing effective heath and safety policies in their workplaces (Tomlinson, 2015). The management make sure that its organizational health and safety practices are in line with UK Government's regulations and acts. Another responsibilities of the top management of Cromwell Hospital include training of health and social care workers on vital health and safety issues.
Mid level Managers
Cromwell Hospital's mid level managers play important role in training of health care staff on several important aspects of occupational health and safety concerns (Barthow and et.al., 2015). In addition to that these managers also monitor proper execution of health and safety practices on a daily basis.
It is one of the responsibilities of care workers to effectively follow the organizational practices implemented by Cromwell Hospital. In addition to this, health staff of the hospital need to consult their respective managers on procedures to prevent risks and hazards related to occupational safety. They make sure to report the cases of faulty instruments and substances that can pose perils of potential hazards in their workplace.
These consultants are employed by the care organization to implement instruments and tools that are used to prevent hazards. Safety consultants are responsible for providing essential information to to managers of Cromwell Hospital about health and safety regulations and acts so that the organization can develop effective policies.
Health care inspectors: These are external entities that play cardinal role in inspecting the efficacy of health and safety policies and practices of Cromwell Hospital (Zineldin, 2015). Health care inspectors report any cases of inappropriate health and safety practices that the organization is following.
Analyzing health and safety priorities
The priorities of health and safety aspects of Cromwell Hospital can be analyzed in the following manner. As a care worker it can be analyzed that the first priority of Cromwell Hospital is to develop health and safety practices that are in line with UK governments health and safety regulations and acts to prevent health hazards at its workplace. The second priority of the top management of Cromwell Hospital is to ensure that the health staff is well communicated regarding the concepts of risks in occupation health and safety. For this the organization need to train carers on various health and safety issues which they can encounter during their course of duties. In addition to this, it can be analyzed that carers of Cromwell Hospital need to make sure to report the cases of faulty health care equipment that can pose perils of potential hazards to health of individuals in the organization (VanderWiele and Ozcan, 2015). Besides this, it is also the responsibilities of carers to keep the hazardous substances and instruments at their designated places to avoid any mishap. Further it can be analyzed that consulting to receptive managers for implementation of specific health and safety practices is also one of the health and safety priorities. In addition to this, the priorities also include effective communication between health care teams to increase the effectiveness of implemented health and safety policies and practices at Cromwell Hospital. For example: physicians and care assistant can work as team to identify problems related to implementation of health and safety practices to avoid fatal accidents in their workplace. Apart from this, regular inspection and monitoring is another important aspect of health and safety priorities of Cromwell Hospital which is carried out by health inspectors and auditors.
Analysis of the impact of an aspect of health and safety policy
Prevention of hospital acquired infections is one of the important aspect of health and safety policy at Cromwell Hospital. It has been observed that hospitals are the potential places of microbial infections which leads to several health risks to health staff and care takers. Therefore this aspect of health and safety policy need to be addressed effectively to control infections in the care setting. As a care assistant it can be analyzed that infection control policy of Cromwell Hospital positively impact the health and well being of all individuals involved in health and social care setting of the organization. The major impacts are discussed in the following points:
Overall health and social practices
An effectively managed infection control policy at Cromwell Hospital can leads to elimination of risk associated with microbial infection in the hospital. It can be analyzed that proper maintenance of cleanliness and hygiene can prevent the risk of hospital acquired diseases such as urinary tract infection, bloodstream infection, wound and lung infection among carers and service users. Health and safety procedures to prevent infection enable care assistants to properly sterilize equipment and tools after every use (Stewart, Skinner,Weiss and Middleton, 2015). Safe disposal of hospital waste is also helps in reducing the risk of hospital acquired infections.
The hospital's internal and external customers
Infection control policy largely impact the health and well-being of care takers as well as care givers. It can be analyzed that service users get affected with infections during long hospital stays which can be prevented by following cleanliness and hygiene guidelines. Proper implementation of infection control procedures can lead to better protection of care takers and employees.
Dealing with dilemmas related implementation of safety policies
In health and social care, there may arise certain dilemmas which significantly affect the health and safety practices of care organizations. These dilemmas occur due to the differences of interests of service users and care givers. For example: a mental patient wants to go out to the terrace of hospital domiciliary care worker of Cromwell Hospital cannot allow him to express his wish in order to ensure the safety of the patient against any fatal accident. This can lead to dilemma because the organizational norms do not allow the care worker to disobey any care taker (Samad and et.al., 2016). However the for the safety of the service users is the prime responsibility of care worker which forces him to stop the patient from going to the terrace of hospital. The dilemma can be addressed by the help of Mental Health Act 1983 which allows the domiciliary care worker to take decisions on behalf of the patient suffering from mental disorder (Mental Health Act, 2016). The act enables care workers of the Cromwell Hospital to ensure health and safety of these patients without their prior consent as they themselves lack ability to make decisions to protect their own rights to safety and health. The domiciliary carers can effectively implement health and safety practices and systems in order to prevent accidents and mishaps while providing care to patients.
Effect of the non compliance of health and safety legislation in the given case
Non Compliance of of specific aspects of health and safety legislation causes severe consequences in a day care center of elderly people who are suffering from dementia. The effects of non compliance of health and safety legislation are discussed in the following points:
- Elderly people with dementia lack the ability to make own decisions regarding health and safety. Therefore the care workers need to take care of their health and safety needs to protect them from risks of accidents (Maxwell and et.al., 2015). For example: older people with dementia can aimlessly roam in the hospital premises if not watched by care workers. This leads to fatal accidents such as falls and slips.
- Non compliance of infection control policies in the day care center of elderly patients with dementia can leads to perils of various infection borne diseases such as Urinary tract infection, lung and bloodstream infections. This further creates negative impact on the health of older patients.
- Non Compliance of health and safety legislation can adversely affect the quality of care services that are meant for promoting overall well-being of older people with dementia. For example: Older patients behave aggressively and cause harm to other patients and carers. If the management of the day care center do not take effective safety measures then it may cause threat to lives of other care takers and the staff including the patient himself.
- Another negative effect of non compliance of health and safety legislation in the given scenario is that people may lose faith in the services of the day care center which degrades its brand image in the health and social care sector in UK.
How health and safety policies are monitored and reviewed
Monitoring of health and safety policies is very important in the health and social care setting. In order to discuss the ways of monitoring and reviewing of health and safety practices and policies of Cromwell Hospital following points can be elaborated:
Preparing checklists: Cromwell Hospital can prepare a list of factors that are are very important from the point of health and safety practices within its workplace (Hall, Oudyk, King, Naqvi and Lewchuk, 2016). The organization can monitor the effectiveness of its risk assessment in order to address specific aspects of health and safety issues.
Safety Inspections: Safety inspection is another way of monitoring the effectiveness of implemented health and safety practices within its setup. This helps the hospital to rectify the loopholes in the existing health and safety policies to ensure prevention of health and safety hazards. Another way of effective monitoring of health and safety legislation is by reviewing management reports. In addition to this hazard reports can be reviewed to increase the efficacy of health and safety procedures.
Periodic Audits: Regular audits are very beneficial to check the effectiveness of health and safety practices of Cromwell Hospital. These audits enable the firm to update its safety measures in order to implement better protection procedures within its care setting such as faulty instruments can be replaced with improved equipment that can minimize the risk of accidents (Rees and et.al., 2015).
Analyzing priorities in specific aspects of health and safety
As a care worker of Cromwell Hospital, I give prime importance to heath and safety of service users. It is one of the priority of my work to protect patients from potential hazards such as accidents from falls and slips, injury from medical equipment, violent behavior of other patients. In order to prevent patients from falls and slips, I make sure that there is a provision of bed rails or wheel chairs for those care takers who are incapable of walking due to their illness. Another important area which needs special attention in preventing health and safety risks include cleanliness and hygiene factor (Fisher and et. al., 2015). It has been observed that poorly maintained hospital premises can cause severe infectious diseases among service users and health staff. Therefore I make sure to properly sterilize instruments and tools to prevent contamination. In addition to this, I also ensure safe disposal of hospital waste to control deadly microbial infections. Through effective care planning I make sure to implement safety policies of the hospital to protect service users from fatal accidents such as fire.
Critical evaluation of own contribution
In residential care setting, as a care worker, I lay major emphasis on the safety issues of clients. I keep the safety and security needs of care takers in the center of my work activities. I make sure to use sterilized needles and tools to protect the patient from the risk of infection. In addition to this, I make sure to dispose the residential care home waste in the safest manner to eliminate the risk of pathogenic infections. I also give prime importance to hygiene and cleanliness factor of the residential care home (Connolly and et.al., 2015). In addition to this my role as carer can be be critically evaluated in case of handling dilemma issues as there are patients who refuse to obey in response to their safety concerns. This makes the implementation of care plan slightly challenging. However this can be effectively resolved with the help of sound knowledge about health and safety policies.
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In a nutshell, health and safety policies play very important role in preventing risks associated with health and safety within organizational workplaces. There are various health and safety legislation laid down by UK government that provide guidelines to care organizations of the region to implement effective safety policies in order to protect service users and care givers . Top Management, carers and external care agencies play cardinal role in development, implementation and monitoring of health and safety practices. The health and safety policies of care settings significantly affect internal as well as external customers. It has been observed that non compliance of these safety policies negatively impact the health and safety of care takers.
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